Police attached to Tweed/Byron Local Area Command have joined with their counterparts in south-east Queensland to combat the high incidence of motorcycle-related fatalities in the regions.

Operation High Side is a series of one-day cross-border operations conducted by Tweed/Byron LAC and Gold Coast District Highway Patrol officers which have been conducted since November 2007 to deter motorcyclists from being involved in any further deaths or related-road trauma.

During 2007, six people died as a result of motorcycle accidents in Tweed/Byron LAC, while on the Gold Coast, 21 motorcyclists were killed.

In comparison, during the first quarter of 2008 since Operation High Side began, one fatal incident involving a motorcycle has occurred in the Tweed/Byron LAC (motorcyclist not at fault), with one motorcyclist killed in the Gold Coast district.

Senior Sergeant William Darnell said Operation High Side was targeting irresponsible riders who placed lives in danger.

“Motorcyclists are converging on country roads in the western areas of Tweed/Byron LAC and using the roadway as a racetrack,” Senior Sergeant Darnell said.

“The riders ignore road rules and drive their machines in excess of the speed limit to test their bikes and their skills.

“Motorcyclists indulging in this type of activity also often fail to keep left of road dividing lines, and obscure their number plates to avoid detection. Sadly, this type of behaviour can result in serious injury and death – not just to the rider, but also to other innocent people using the roadway.”

Police from New South Wales and Queensland today performed ongoing high-visibility enforcement duties along well-known routes from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Tweed/Byron.

Since Operation High Side began in November last year, Highway Patrol officers from both jurisdictions have issued 260 legal processes.

More than 140 of these offences were detected in New South Wales:
11% were offenders travelling more than 30km/h over the speed limit (two were P-Platers)
43% were speeding;
20% were safety offences;
17% were registration offences;
10% were licence offences, and
10% related to miscellaneous offences.

Senior Sergeant Darnell said the message to irresponsible motorcyclists was clear. “If you’re a motorcyclist that intends to go out and use our roads as a race track, then be prepared to be detected and stopped by Highway Patrol officers from both sides of the border,” Senior Sergeant Darnell said.

“We will continue to conduct similar operations – without warning – and if you break the law when riding a motorcycle, you will be caught.”